CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University volleyball team is geared up for the 2019 campaign, returning six experienced players from last season's roster while bringing in a new head coach in Lindsay Bynon.
Bynon takes over a team that went just 2-20 a season ago, but the first-year head coach has seen a great deal of improvement throughout the preseason and is optimistic about what is to come for the team. "It's tough to look back at the record from last year," Bynon said. "But it's important that we're moving forward with it and taking the steps that we need to take in order to be successful."
The Spartans have just one senior on the squad in right-side hitter Gabrielle Carpenter, who saw significant action last year. Carpenter ranked second on the team to outside hitter Shannon Manchester with 58 kills and racked up 12 total blocks on the defensive side. Manchester's 95 kills paced the squad, as did her 22 blocks—10 of which were solo.
Meghan Zawatsky returns as the team's libero after racking up 215 digs a season ago. She also chipped in a team-high 27 service aces. Madison Hamelink comes back from an injury-shortened freshman campaign after posting strong numbers in the early going. The sophomore recorded 2.62 digs per set and 1.00 kills per set—both good for second on the team.
The Spartans will be looking for a new setter after the graduation of Brianna Hake, with Bre MacDuff slotted to take on the role this season.
Returners Lena Soehnle and Ellie Frischmon will bring a veteran presence off the bench for the Spartans, while a large group of newcomers round out the roster as the team looks for improvement in 2019.
The season opens on August 30 at the Vermont Volleyball Classic hosted by NVU-Johnson.